What to Expect at a Military Funeral

By: Powers Funeral Home
Monday, September 19, 2022

Many people may fear going to a military funeral for several different reasons. One may be that they have an actual fear of things such as death and caskets. Others may be nervous about seeing distant relatives they have not seen in many years. However, the most common reason people are anxious attending a military funeral is because it is their first one and they simply don’t know what to expect. As directors of funeral homes in Camden, SC. we understand this so we are sharing what you need to know so that you can feel more comfortable.

What is a Military Funeral?

A military funeral is a service that pays honor and respect to the deceased for their service in the armed forces. These funeral services can differ slightly depending on the length of time the deceased served as well as what branch they were in.  In any case, there will be representatives from the branch at the funeral and they will perform certain acts and ceremonies as part of the service.

Civilian Guests

Guests should be dressed in appropriate attire. This means nice, business attire for both men and women. Choose darker, more solemn colors such as black, dark grays, deep greens, etc. Make sure to have minimal jewelry and other accessories.

If there is seating it is reserved for the immediate family and those who may need to sit due to age or a disability. Know that you may need to stand for the entire committal service.

Members of the Armed Forces

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, it is expected that you wear your dress uniform to the service. Also, all members of the Armed Forces will salute the hearse as it passes, as well as anytime the casket is moved. You will also salute when Taps is being played and when the casket is being lowered into the ground.

Ceremonies and Honors

Depending on various factors, the ceremonies and honors may differ. However, every military funeral will have the minimal of the following:

  • Flag ceremony - This is a process where the United States flag is folded into a triangle with the blue and start visible on the outside.
  • Presentation of the flag to the family - After the flag is folded, the representative from the military will present it to the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin and thank them for their loved one’s service.
  • The playing of Taps - This will be played on a bugle or trumpet and is also called “Day is Done”, and “Butterfly’s Lullaby”

Military funerals are very special to attend. The deceased is being honored in a way that is full of respect and the pomp and circumstance of it all can leave you with goosebumps. It is truly a powerful event and should be treated as such. As directors of funeral homes in Camden, SC., we hope that this information has allowed you to feel a little more confident and comfortable about attending your first military funeral with honors.

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